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Published on Oct 2, 2006
Anthrax is a criticism and comment piece about how broadcast news handled the 2001 anthrax scare. The idea is that the word "anthrax" can be interchanged with other topics being reported to the nation. The video attempts to deconstruct the television coverage of this topic, especially the scare factor, and identifies patterns and similarities in vocabulary, tone and treatment across all the networks that were sampled. For example, most networks started using the word "anthrax" which then evolved into "skin anthrax" which then evolved into "cutaneous anthrax," etc. The pattern that emerges is that all the major networks are using similar vocabulary. We can see the story emerge and evolve as a whole even though it is made up of reports from multiple entities, both large and small. DISCLAIMER: The use of news clips in this video were not approved by or licensed by any of the networks represented herein. It was originally created for a Master of Fine Arts thesis by me, a former journalist, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The piece falls under the "Fair Use: Commentary and Criticism" clause.